Polypectomy is a surgical procedure which involves removal of part or all of the uterus (womb) and/or ovaries (uterus). It is usually performed when there are no other options available to treat symptoms associated with endometriosis. There are several reasons why polypectomy may be considered:
The disease has spread beyond the original site of infection.
There is a high risk of recurrence of the disease if not treated.
The patient’s life expectancy is limited due to age, advanced illness, or other factors.
It is medically necessary because the disease cannot be cured.
In some cases, it is recommended to remove only one half of the uterus (the corpus luteum), rather than both halves. This is called oophorectomy. Oophorectomy is often used in women who have had hysterectomies, since they do not produce enough progesterone to sustain their own menstrual cycles.
A woman who has been treated for endometriosis with a hysterectomy may still be at risk of developing colon polyps. This is due to the fact that some medical professionals believe that endometriosis can be caused by similar hormonal abnormalities that are also responsible for the development of polyps.
These types of medical problems can become severe enough to require a second operation in which a cuff of healthy tissue is left around the rectum. The remaining cuff of tissue allows for a natural and easy bowel movement.
The removal of the uterus and the ovaries (known as an oophorectomy) is a common procedure performed on women at or around menopause. It is not medically recommended for patients before the age of 40, unless it is necessary. In addition to then not having a monthly period, there are many long-term health benefits that can be realized by delaying this procedure until later in life. It is important to consult your physician before making this decision.
Uterus cancer is a common form of cancer that strikes women during their child-bearing years. It is estimated that over 50% of women will have or have had this disease by the time they reach menopause.
Most instances of this type of cancer are detected in women over the age of 40 since it is a slow growing malignancy. The symptoms are usually vague and subtle, for this reason many patients do not seek immediate treatment. For proper diagnosis and treatment, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if any symptoms are noticed.
The disease tends to be aggressive and spread quickly, it can also metastasize (break away) and attack nearby organs, such as the bladder or intestines. When this happens, the survival rate is much lower.
In the United States, more women die of uterine cancer each year than those who succumb to cervical cancer. It is the fourth most common type of cancer among women, after skin, lung, and colon cancer.
It is important to remember that uterine cancer is still relatively rare and over 60% of women who receive treatment will survive beyond five years. In addition, there are some lifestyle factors that can increase your chances of getting this disease; the main ones being age and family history. Even if you have a family member who had uterine cancer, you can still reduce your chances of getting the disease by quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol intake.
Although it is rare for women in their 20’s to develop this problem, it can and does happen. Any unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge should be reported to your physician immediately. Some of the symptoms are similar to those of less serious problems like fibroids or endometriosis. A proper examination and medical tests can usually determine the exact nature of the problem.
Uterine cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The specific treatment plan will be determined by several factors, such as your age, general health, the type and stage of the cancer, and whether it has metastasized.
It is important to understand that these treatments do not always mean a cure. They can, however, result in the remission of the disease or at least prolong life.
If you find out you have uterine cancer, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. For some women this means delaying childbirth or having a hysterectomy (uterus removal). This can have a significant impact on your life. It is very important that you speak with a health care provider before making this decision.
A hysterectomy may be an option for women who have severe medical complications as a result of their cancer. The goal of this surgery is to remove the uterus, cervix, and Fallopian tubes if they are free of disease. In some cases, a partial hysterectomy may be done to remove the uterus while keeping the cervix and Fallopian tubes.
There are also less invasive surgical approaches such as laser surgery or microwave therapy to treat uterine cancer. These techniques use high-intensity focused beams of light or microwaves to destroy or shrink the diseased tissue without making an incision. These procedures are not appropriate for all patients and more research is needed before their benefit can be determined.
Other less common treatments for cancer in the uterus include:
Chemotherapy: A powerful drug that kills fast-dividing cells, such as cancer cells. It is given as a vein (IV) into your blood.
Hormone therapy: Medicines to reduce estrogen levels and slow the growth of cancer cells, which usually require taking pills by mouth.
Immunotherapy: Giving you drugs to boost your immune system so that it can fight the cancer better.
Radiotherapy: A treatment that uses radiation to kill cancer cells. It can be given externally, through a machine outside of your body that targets your tumor, or internally, through a pill you swallow or liquid you inject into your muscle that travels through your blood to your tumor.
Chemotherapy can cause the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer treatments. Others may affect your immune system, blood cells, and hormonal levels.
Surgery is usually the first treatment for uterine cancer. In some cases, you may need to have a hysterectomy in which your uterus is removed. You may also have a myomectomy in which fibroid tumors are removed, but the uterus is left in place.
If the cancer has metastasized , which means it has spread to other parts of the body, your provider may suggest chemotherapy or hormonal therapy. If the cancer has spread to other organs, your provider may suggest a surgical procedure to remove the cancer or radiation.
It is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This may include eating foods that are low in fat and sugar and exercising on a regular basis. In addition, you should stop smoking because it can complicate your treatment.
You should also be sure to get enough rest and speak with your health care providers about any concerns you have regarding your cancer treatment plan.
Go to the next section to learn more about different types of treatment.
Sources & references used in this article:
Prevention of colorectal cancer by colonoscopic polypectomy by SJ Winawer, AG Zauber, MN Ho… – … England Journal of …, 1993 – Mass Medical Soc
Colonoscopic polypectomy and long-term prevention of colorectal-cancer deaths by AG Zauber, SJ Winawer, MJ O’Brien… – N Engl J …, 2012 – Mass Medical Soc
Hemorrhage following colonoscopic polypectomy by L Rosen, DS Bub, JF Reed, SA Nastasee – Diseases of the colon & rectum, 1993 – Springer
Complications in colonoscopic polypectomy by S Nivatvongs – Diseases of the colon & rectum, 1986 – Springer
Fatal colonic explosion during colonoscopic polypectomy by MA Bigard, P Gaucher, C Lassalle – Gastroenterology, 1979 – Elsevier